Deborah McLaren is the founder and director of two international tourism rights organizations and the President of Local Flavor, a Minnesota-based social enterprise that supports locally-owned small businesses.
Her “Rethinking tourism and ecotravel” (Kumarian Press 1998 and 2002) book was a ground breaking exploration of tourism and globalization and its impacts on communities. She has also served as a U.N. Development Programme consultant for the Royal Government of Bhutan and hosts a youtube series with Ron Mader, on “Responsible, Local Travel in the USA.” Growing up on Route 66 in Oklahoma in a small, mostly Native American community (that was polluted by lead and zinc mining) launched her journey of exploring the pros and cons of tourism and how it can be used as a tool for change. She’s fond of organizing pop-up museums, hosting responsible travel and retreats, farmers’ markets, her family and her back yard. She has an MA from the Institute for Social Ecology at Goddard College in Vermont.